U.S. coal mining deaths achieved an all-time low in 2014, and, in an interview with a major news service, MSHA chief Joe Main credited MSHA enforcement initiatives for much of the improvement. Yet, Main’s boast notwithstanding, there is some question whether the historic milestone really represents improvement at all. Read more »
Roland Massey dedicated his life to trying to live up to those words, which he hoped would serve as his epitaph. To appreciate if he met this unselfish ideal, look no further than what people had to say about him after he passed away Nov. 23, four days before Thanksgiving. Read more »
MSHA has concluded Gary Hytinen died from natural causes, but individuals close to the circumstances which led to the Michigan iron miner’s death, including the man’s son, question whether MSHA got it right. Read more »
The indictment handed down Nov. 13 against former Massey Energy coal executive Don Blankenship in connection with the death of 29 West Virginia miners is the latest in a series of developments in mine safety that have occurred since the April 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine-South (UBB) explosion. Read more »
Aggregate safety professional Terry Tyson delivered this eulogy to his long-time friend Frank Adkins at a memorial service Nov. 2 in Spruce Pine, NC. Frank, who conducted a popular mine safety and health law institute through his company Safepro, Inc., for many years, died on Oct. 23.
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
The Oregon Independent Aggregate Association (OIAA) dedicated the October issue of its newsletter to Frank Adkins, who died Oct. 23. Here is what three individuals had to say about Frank in the newsletter:
Our hearts are saddened by the passing of Frank Adkins.
As every parent with a teenager knows, changing someone else’s attitude can be a tough sell. But an attitude adjustment is precisely what I experienced after attending Frank Adkin’s week-long law course in the fall of 2009. From then on, I never viewed MSHA in the same positive way again. The power of Frank’s logic and force of his convictions convinced me that inspectors are not your friend, nor have they come to your mine to help, and that their employer - MSHA - is an enforcement agency first and foremost.
The terms of two members of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission have expired.
The six-year terms of Chairwoman Mary Lu Jordan and Commissioner Michael Young ended Aug. 31. According to a notice on the Commission’s website, Jordan and Young will serve the quasi-judicial body as counsels to the three remaining members and will work on special projects.
A coal outburst that claimed two miners’ lives at a West Virginia mine happened three days after another outburst which the mine did not report to state authorities, according to investigators from the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training (OMHST).
Congress intended money under the Brookwood-Sago grants program to have a broad reach, but MSHA’s focus with the funding has primarily been on emergency response in underground coal mines.
A miner was killed Friday morning at United Salt Corp.’s Hockley Mine, an underground salt mine in Texas.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences identified the victim as Mark Benoit, 55, of Waller. According to MSHA, he was killed about 7:10 a.m. while performing maintenance on a forklift aboveground. The machine shifted and pinned him against a wall. Benoit, who had been employed at the mine since 2012, was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was blunt chest trauma.
The big winner over the years of funding under the MSHA-administered Brookwood Sago grants program has been the United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc. (UMWACC).
A new MSHA policy for handling underground coal operator challenges to agency-issued safeguard notices brings MSHA’s procedures in line with those the agency employs to handle challenges to its roof control, ventilation and emergency response plans.
MSHA has awarded $1 million in Brookwood-Sago grants to seven organizations for various mine emergency prevention, preparedness, response and rescue activities.
Current Regulatory Agenda
Proposed (P) Final (F)
(DFR) Direct Final Rule
(F) Prox Detect Devices: CMMs Issued Jan '15
(P) Fees for Product Testing Issued Oct '14
(P) Civil Penalties Issued Aug '14
(P) Prox Detect Devices UG Jan '15
(P) Respirable Crystalline Silica Oct '15
(F) Confined Space Construction Mar '15
(F) Improve Injury Tracking Aug '15
(P) Standards Improvement IV Dec '14
(P, DFR) Eye, Face Protection Dec '14
(P) Employers' Rptg. Obligation Nov '14
(P) Beryllium Jan '15
(P) Amendments Cranes/Derricks Construction Jan '15
(P) Crane Oprs Cert Construction Mar '15
(P) Resp. Pro. QFTP Mar '15
- Coal 1
- Aggregates 1
- Other M/NM 3
- Coal 16
- Aggregates 12
- Other M/NM 13
- Coal 20
- Aggregates 13
- Other M/NM 9
- Coal 20
- Aggregates 10
- Other M/NM 6